Leica in the Landscape: Alpine Photography with Philip Blair

A Leica Akademie WEEKEND Workshop


Bellevue, WA
October  11th – 13th, 2019

Friday: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Saturday: 11am – 6:00pm
Sunday: 10:30am – 5:00pm



Click here to Register


Join us for a special three-day event showcasing one of the “Gems of the Pacific Northwest:” Mt. Rainier, Washington.  Known originally as “Tahoma” by Native Americans, the mountain will be captured in this workshop under afternoon and evening skies.  The event will bring educational processing sessions and presentations, lots of talk about landscape and alpine shooting and of course, a memorable shooting experience at select vantage points near the mountain.

This workshop is geared toward photographers who are interested in mountain photography and are looking to get more from their gear outdoors.  Landscape and non-landscape photographers alike will benefit from the hands-on classroom and field tutorials using the maximum capabilities of their cameras and resulting RAW files.  The workshop will focus on the Leica M, Leica SL and Leica Q camera systems, and field and processing techniques for black & white and color landscape photography.

The format will follow both a classroom (boardroom style) and field format: the first day in the classroom, the second day in the field, and the third day back in the classroom.  Classroom sessions will involve presentation and instruction by event speaker Philip Blair, with emphasis during day 3 upon individual one-on-one processing instruction with the attendees.  The field day up at Mt. Rainier will provide both group & individual instruction, and guidance on both wide-angle and telephoto landscape shooting.


  • Introduction to landscape and alpine mountain photography
  • M, SL and Q settings for outdoor, noise control and management of highlights/shadows
  • Methods for both black & white and color landscape & sky photography
  • Black & White: tonality, detail and contrast
  • Color: approach and philosophies upon color contrast, hue and saturation
  • Introduction to the hidden power of RAW files
  • Adapting to how the camera sees in extreme lighting conditions
  • Outdoor subject & landscape composition


1pm – 5pm – Hyatt Boardroom

Speaker Presentations & Orientation to Outdoor Shooting in Extreme Lighting Conditions

The first half of the afternoon will offer presentations by Philip Blair on landscape photography in unique lighting conditions.  Topics to include the emotional impact created by images in low light, the photographer’s expression of self, and the creation of unique outdoor images with both strength and intimacy.  Participants will learn how cameras see in varied lighting conditions and how they produce powerful RAW files ready for the leveraging of today’s processing tools (Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom).

The second half of the afternoon will be spent on the technicalities and settings for the M, SL and Q camera systems combined with content including some of the equipment used by the instructor. 

Orientation and planning for the day-2 field shooting event: equipment, weather & safety.

11am – 6pm – Enumclaw, WA & Mount Rainier, WA

Field Demos, Tutorials & Shooting

Note that this field-day is an afternoon and evening itinerary, and is subject to change depending upon the weather. 

Participants will meet up with the instructors for an orientation & lunch in Enumclaw, Washington, about an hour from Mt. Rainier National Park. The afternoon and evening will feature shooting locations and vantage points near the mountain. Specific location(s) TBA depending on seasonal weather.


Picnic dinner to be included.  We will conclude the evening at approximately 6pm but participants will have the option to stay on location afterward for night shooting if desired. 

10:30am – 4:30pm – Hyatt Boardroom

Speaker Processing Demos, Group Tutorial, One-on-One Instruction, Group Sharing & Critique

The third day will focus on the processing of RAW files, both color and black & white. 

Primary tools used will be Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom; other tools may be covered if needed. Workflows for the processing of both web and print images will be included.

The day will also include personal one-on-one instruction on tools, workflow and image processing for individuals’ needs, interests & tastes.  The afternoon will conclude with a sharing and critique session among the group. Lunch is included.


This weekend course is designed for those comfortable with their cameras and are looking for an orientation to alpine mountain landscape photography.  The course will benefit M, SL and Q users who love the outdoors and are looking to add an unconventional repertoire to their photography.

Attendees will benefit if they have a good understanding of fully-manual camera control, but this is not required in order to attend.


Day 2 in the field of this event will be a long day with two hours’ drive time in both directions, returning to the Seattle area in darkness between 8 and 9pm.  Transportation is not included, and those uncomfortable driving long distances, or driving at night will be able to ride along via carpool.

Day 2 in the field will most likely involve windy and cold conditions.  Attendees will want to bring warm, waterproof and windproof outdoor clothing including hat and gloves.  Some of the chosen vantage points may involve hiking 1-2 miles, though non-hiking locations will be available.  Hikers will want to bring waterproof hiking shoes or boots.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their camera equipment of all types, including any special or exotic equipment.  All attendees should bring a sturdy tripod and extra batteries as we will be working with long exposures. 

The outdoor itinerary is subject to weather limitations.  If weather pre-empts the current plan, an alternate itinerary will be provided for the day.

Strictly limited to only 12 participants to ensure a quality experience.

Coffee and snacks provided throughout the weekend. Catered services for dinner provided on Saturday. Lunch will be included on Sunday.


pb on white

Philip Blair is a black & white landscape photographer and outdoor guide based in Seattle, Washington. His intimate, native knowledge of Oregon and Washington takes him to places both well and lesser-known in this gorgeous part of the country. His primary focus is in producing fine prints that connect personal & autobiographical emotion with the stunning visuals offered throughout the Pacific Northwest. Phil partnered in November/December 2018 with Leica Store Bellevue for his “Solitude: Snow & Ice” exhibit. He has also worked with Leica Akademie in January 2019 on the Weekend Workshop: “The Monochrome Landscape” at Deception Pass, Washington. His newest projects include “Columbia Gorge in Late Spring (2019)” to be published later this year. Philip has been a Leica M shooter for 10 years, currently working with the Leica Monochrom-M (Typ 246), and has also extensively used the S, Q and D-lux camera systems.

Philip’s work may be found on his website and Instagram.

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